Any project requires accurate measurements. That said, you must have heard of the word Calipers. It is the device that is used to make very small measurements.
It is tough to take accurate measurements, especially when detailing is necessary. Calipers come here for the job and they can be used for projects, lab works, and designing models.
A caliper somewhat looks like a ruler. It’s just that they have smaller least count, adjustable jaws, and different scales. The working of calipers is quite complex. A manual caliper will make you learn about it before you use it whereas a digital caliper is easier to use.
In 3D printing, you need a caliper to measure the size of the 3D print and verify whether it is printed as expected and vice versa.
There are variations in calipers, such as least count, working, accuracy, resolution, materials used, and sizes. I will talk about five of the best calipers to help you design your 3D-print models. Do read till the end.
List Of The Best Calipers For 3D Printing
Reviews Of Best Calipers For 3D Printing
1. NEIKO 01407A – Best Electronic Caliper For 3D Printing
Neiko 01407A Caliper was launched in 2006, and it still ranks among the top five in the category of best-selling digital calipers today and we call it one of the best calipers for 3D printing. Let’s see why.
The caliper body is made of stainless steel, having a knurled roller and a locking screw. It calibrates to measure internal, external diameter, depth, and step with the help of two sets of jaws and probes to a vernier caliper. The functioning is smooth.
For the range, you can measure between 0-6″ (0-150mm) with a resolution of 0.0005″ (0.01mm) and accuracy of 0.001″ (0.02mm). Precision is well maintained.
Like most calipers, there is a large LCD screen for easy viewing of readings. Also, with the one-tap button, you can switch between inch, millimeter, and fraction scales.
This caliper might have seemed the same as the Tengyes one. Both of them are somewhat similar but not exactly (compare them). The former has two-three extra features and demands a higher amount. Neiko 01407A is a handy caliper for 3D printing and also can be used for normal uses. This is also affordable in price. So grab it now!
- Electronic digital caliper
- Large LCD screen
- 0.001” / 0.02 mm measurement accuracy
- Comes with a quick-change button for an inch
- Stainless steel material
- 0-6 inch measurement range
2. Starrett 798A-6/150 – Best Digital Caliper For 3D Printing
Coming up next is another caliper for 3D printing from one of the best caliper brands, Starrett. This digital caliper by Starrett is made of stainless steel and supports a lithium metal battery.
The linear accuracy of this caliper meets international DIN 862 standards. It has a range of 0-6″ and can measure 0 to 150 mm with 0.0005″ or 0.010 mm accuracy.
The digital caliper consists of an LCD screen featuring a digital display that shows 0.31″ high characters for easy noting of values.
The stainless steel bar is made 3.5″ thick. Caliper is coolant-proof, has an IP67 rating, and is screened from dirt, water, and oil. The caliper resists corrosion and has a long life. So in addition to measuring 3D prints, you can also use them for other uses.
Also, it functions even for high-grade heavy works. This is one of the most accurate calipers and is of high quality so it’s on the pricey side. If you have a good budget, then this is a good choice.
- Stainless steel material
- 0-6″ range
- Coolant-proof with IP67 rating
- LCD screen with high characters for readability
3. VINCA DCLA-0605 – Best Budget Digital Calipers For 3D Printing
Vinca calipers are the best in the market for 3D printing and we will tell you why. The Vinca DCLA-0605 is an electronic vernier micrometer caliper measuring tool. It works for both home DIY and professional works.
The body is stainless steel and features a newly processed depth meters groove and the color is black-red. You get a better look, smooth functioning, and accurate measurements.
This Vinca caliper gives you a measuring range of 0-6″ (150mm) with an accuracy of 0.001″ (0.03mm) and a resolution of 0.0005″ (0.01mm). So if you are printing 3D prints in this size range, this can be your ideal tool to measure it. This digital caliper allows conversion to metric, millimeter, and fraction scale.
An exciting feature is the RS232 Data Transfer port. It allows you to transfer readings and data to your PC. But you cannot do it with a normal USB cable. It needs VINCA DTCR-03 Cable that you need to purchase separately; it is not included with the caliper.
Vinca DCLA 0605 comes with two batteries (one extra spare) and is backed by a 1-year warranty. Moreover, there is lifetime 24 x 7 customer service available with Venica.
I like its design (red-black combo), and the data transfer is somewhat unique for calipers. The accuracy decreases here a bit, but you may go for it if it fits your 3D printing requirements.
- Made of stainless steel material
- 4 ways of measuring
- 0-6″/150mm measuring range
- 1-year warranty
- 24/7 customer service
4. Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper
Mitutoyo’s 500-196-30 Digital Caliper is one of the best-selling Digital Calipers online with a rating of 4.9/5. It is made of stainless steel and supports an SR44 silver oxide battery.
The caliper measures the range of 0-6″ (0 to 150 mm) in 0.0005″ (0.01mm) to ensure high precision. It measures inside, outside, depth, and step values for versatility, using a thumb roller and excluding 500-500-10, 500-501-10,500-502-10.
It has an LCD screen that shows inch or metric units and keeps versatility while taking measurements. The Advanced onsite sensor (AOS), an electromagnetic inductive sensor prevents dirt, oil, and water.
The caliper comes in a protective case with a battery. When you look at the price, it is quite a good deal. The caliper works for life long and is suited for most tasks. Have a deeper look using the given link.
- Digital readout LCD screen
- Measures 0 to 6″
- A protective case and SR44 silver oxide battery included
- Has a large and clear LCD readout screen
- Has thumb roller
5. Tengyes Digital Caliper Micrometer Measuring Tool
Tengyes launched this Digital Caliper Micrometer Measuring Tool in 2017.
It is made of stainless steel, has a knurled thumb roller and a locking screw. Moving and positioning are smooth. Easy to get the internal, external diameter, depth, or step measurements.
It offers a range of 0-6″ (150mm) with accuracy and resolution of 0.001″ (0.02mm) and 0.005″ (0.01mm) respectively. These are the high-quality accuracy and precision standards.
The LCD screen with 0.47″ x 1.22″ and the One-touch button to switch between inch, millimeter, and fraction scales make it easy to take readings.
The device has a function to auto-off when not in operation for more than 5 minutes. The battery remains conserved. IP54 certification ensures protection against water splashes, dust, and oil.
The measuring tool comes in a protective case with an extra battery, a screwdriver, and a soft cleaning cloth. It has a 2-year warranty and lifetime-friendly service—a great caliper in its price range.
- Digital Caliper Micrometer
- 6-inch stainless steel vernier caliper
- IP54 Waterproof
- Battery-powered and button battery replacement
- LCD Screen for measurement readout
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Digital Calipers for 3D printing?
It is necessary to check the material used for making Caliper’s body. A stiff, tough, durable material such as aluminum or steel lasts longer and keeps its position. Lighter materials such as plastic, rubber, or carbon fibers could bend and also get cut marks while in use. It will be best if the material has a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Carbon fiber materials give you the advantage of being non-magnetic.
As you have heard, accuracy is the key. Ideally, you want the smallest division and zero error. It is impossible to get 100% accuracy, but there are options for ±0.001mm accuracy. It is a high accuracy, needed when every detail counts. Some calipers give you 0.003-0.010mm accuracy that is good enough for normal DIY work.
There are two jaws in Calipers. The jaws on the bottom side of the calipers are the outside jaws. They measure the outer radius, length, and surface of the solid body. On the other hand, the jaws at the upper side of the calipers are the inside jaws. They measure internal readings of a body, such as the internal diameter.
Check that the jaws are at zero, smooth in movement, and tight enough to fix the object while taking observations.
It refers to the possible measurement units to measure in. Most calipers give you the options as metric and millimeter scales, whereas some also offer fractional measurement scales. The fractional is more detailed but bound to errors. Do not settle for any less than metric and millimeter scales.
IP54 Protection Certificate
IP stands for Ingress protection, that is, protection from dirt and water. The digits after IP indicates the quality and specs (under the IP standard chart).
The first digit after IP indicates intrusion protection; 5 says it filters most of the dust and prevents harmful deposits. The second digit indicates moisture protection; 4 says that it is protected from small water splashes. All the higher numbers are better, and you can refer to the IP Rating table for more clarity.
Minimum IP54 is necessary for long-lasting calipers. Must check IP certification before buying one.
Ease of Use
This is important to consider so that anyone can work with the Caliper. The movement of the jaws must be smooth. Check if the LCD screen is made large too so that taking readings is simple and quick. The one-touch metric scale change function is also helpful.
How to Use a Digital Caliper?
Using Digital Caliper is simple. Firstly, remember to clean the Caliper and the object before measurement. If there is any dirt or debris, it may infiltrate and cause errors. After that, you switch on the Caliper. You can choose the appropriate scale using the buttons on the LCD screen. Bring the jaws to the complete left of your Caliper and press the button to zero. This sets up the Caliper, and now you are ready to measure. There could be 4 ways of measurement here.
The larger bottom jaws are for outside measurements of a body—for example, the external diameter of a ring. You have to put the object between the jaws and bring them closer. Now get closer, slowly using the thumbscrew to get a firm contact. The reading shown is the measurement in accordance with the chosen scale. Note the exact readings and get going.
The smaller upper jaws are for inside measurements of a body. Suppose measuring the internal diameter of a bucket and measuring the radius of a hole. All of these types are measured this way. You have to put jaws between the object or the inside hollow region. Start diverging the jaws until they come in contact with the body surface. Now move the jaws slowly in the same direction using the thumbscrew.
For depth measurements, there is a depth gauge available at the base of the Caliper. The depth of any hollow object can be measured using it. You have to hold the Caliper vertically and insert the depth gauge in the hollow region to be measured. Place the base of the Caliper to the object’s top. Now use the thumbscrew and make the depth gauge come down to the level of the object’s base. When the point is reached, note the reading. You got the height.
Step measurements refer to the relative measurements. Think of a staircase and take it like one jaw of the Caliper at the lower step and the other jaw at the successive upper step. Now put the sliding jaw at the upper step. Open the Caliper slowly until the head of the Caliper reaches the lower step. Now turn the lock screw, and you can remove the object. Note the reading.
Advantages of Digital Calipers in 3D printing
Calipers are capable of taking highly accurate measurements on various scales. It is necessary to have clear dimension values when printing models like functional RC parts or with sharp fine edges.
Their accurate measurements tell you about the unbalanced sides, the exact gaps, and filament radius and allow you to correct them. It is good to always check your model and filament with the Caliper to move towards perfection in your printed model.
Digital Calipers are also simple to use, so it is not even much of a hectic task. Still, you can avoid measuring if you are printing something simple such as a sofa set, a pen holder, or an animal’s miniature model.
These were the 5 best-picked calipers for you to buy from. I attempted to add extra information so that you can choose wisely. The information is brief, and you can refer to the amazon links for a detailed view. The personal requirements matter, so I put calipers of somewhat different features. Keep printing! I hope it helps!
1. How do digital calipers work?
Digital calipers sense capacitive results along the length while movement and take measurements somehow.
2. What are the advantages of digital calipers?
Digital calipers are easy to use. They give direct readings and reduce calculations. Also, they store data that can be shared later on.